Nutrition company propels US village to 100% renewable power


A mother and daughter-owned US macro-nutrition company, GoMacro™, has announced that as of August 2020, all residences, businesses, and schools in the town of Viola, Wisconsin will be powered by 100% renewable wind energy thanks to a new partnership with the town municipality. 

GoMacro, known for its organic, plant-based nutrition bars, worked with the Viola Municipal Electric Utility, the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group, and renewable energy advisors to design and ratify a program to replace all traditional energy sources in their community with wind power.

In the first known arrangement of its kind in the country, GoMacro will cover the additional costs of purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) for the entire municipality, effectively subsidizing all Viola residents’ use of renewable energy, so that residents won’t see any difference on their energy bills. The initiative went into effect beginning with the August 2020 billing cycle.

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Founded and headquartered in Viola, GoMacro has been utilising 100% renewable energy to power its production facility since December 2018. The company’s journey to green manufacturing began in summer 2017 with the installation of 844 solar panels on the roof of its production facility. The majority of the solar power generated is used by GoMacro and the excess is sold to the village of Viola.

To supplement the panels on cloudy days and at night, GoMacro purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) from the Rugby Wind Farm in North Dakota. 

“With the infrastructure in place for our needs, we saw an opportunity to reach beyond the walls of our facility and make wind power available to everyone in the community that we’re proud to call home,” said Jola Sonkin, co-founder and CEO of GoMacro. 

The Village of Viola now purchases wind RECs from a group of midwestern municipal utilities referred to as the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group (UMMEG). UMMEG obtains these RECs used in Viola from wind turbines located in Rugby, North Dakota, as well as a small percentage from nearby Cashton Greens Wind Farm. The purchase of these RECs helps to displace the use of non-renewable power sources and supports the demand for renewable energy in the region.

“We’re very grateful for the collaborative effort of everyone involved, and for the opportunity to share the benefits of 100% renewable energy with our neighbours,” said Sonkin. “This project is really a testament to the power of companies, communities, and public services coming together to create a more sustainable future for everyone involved. Though it was the first of its kind in our state, we hope this project will encourage other companies to think creatively and use their resources in a way that creates large-scale change both inside and outside their doors.”